Monday, July 9, 2012
NO SKINNY PEOPLE!
After a week off from blogging, it feels like something is missing. It's weird how I created time to blog each day through June. This last week I felt like I was on vacation. It was kind of nice, but I also felt like there was something I "should" be doing that I wasn't. Unfortunately, the time that I wasn't putting in blogging wasn't redirected toward anything productive. However, I added another project to my list. I suppose starting something new, even if it's only a concept at this point, counts for something.
Saturday was one of those days on which I was experiencing a mixture of emotions. People I know were heading to the Loon Mountain race in an attempt to qualify for the US Mountain Racing Team, others had already run the Vail Hill Climb and still others were attending the wedding of two of my friends. I would have been happy to have been a part of any of those events. Instead, I was stuck at work after running a tempo run on the crowded trails near my mom's house. When some people wouldn't move aside as I was passing another group of people, I had to run on the uneven part of the trail in the middle. Seriously, I can't understand why the people who were strolling up the trail couldn't wait three seconds for me to finish passing the other group of people. They could obviously see that it was a bit of a squeeze, but here it's all about entitlement. I thought about stopping, but then I would have had to pass the first group again and I was already almost past them, so I continued. Oddly enough, after being pushed to middle part of the trail, I managed to navigate the scary part just fine, only to land on solid ground and twist my ankle immediately after. It's stiff and sore, but nothing too terrible. At the time, it felt like it was going to be a bad one. I had images of it swelling up to the size of a watermelon like the last time I turned my ankle on the trails. Fortunately, despite hearing a snap, it feels somewhat OK. Of course it was my left side, the same side as my bad foot. After a certain amount of time running, my foot often gets lazy. I suppose it was really my fault that I twisted it. However, I was already grumpy with too many people on the trails, so it's easier to put some of the blame on inconsiderate hikers. The rest of the day, a heavy sad feeling grew inside me as I longed to be racing or at least in better shape and able to compete. I still have dreams, even if I run slower than a three-toed sloth on diazepam.
But enough complaining. It was nice to see people achieving great successes and engaging in happy life moments, even if I wasn't there in person.
In the last few weeks, too many poorly written headlines have caused a rash of eye rolls around the globe. Unfortunately, most people don't actually bother to read articles, even when the headline seems far fetched. There was the one about the zombie cannibal guy who was found to have "only marijuana in his system," which wasn't exactly the case. In fact, IN the article, it clearly states that no test can detect all the possible substances that could have been in the guy's system, but what a great way to stir up controversy.
Now there's a headline saying that gyms are "banning skinny people." Before all you extra lean gym rats have a freak-out moment, take a breath and realize that there are just a few gyms who want to limit their clientèle to plus-sized members. In the same way that some gyms only allow women, these new gyms are focused on making larger gym goers more comfortable by not allowing any thin people to join. In one case only, skinny people are banned. How they define skinny is my big question. Somehow this doesn't sit well with me. I can argue about all the reasons it seems counter productive, but the bottom line is that it's one of those morally dumbfounding phenomena. There's no real reason why it should be wrong, but it doesn't seem right. Then again, it's that gym's right to select any members they like. Most, however, don't actually ban fit individuals; they just target a heavier clientèle. I'd be interested to know what other people think about this kind of targeting. Is it a good or a bad thing?
The majority of the gyms that target a specific group of people will still allow anyone to join, and there are only a select few that actually outright ban certain individuals. In the case of discouraging skinny people to make larger folks feel more comfortable and encourage better self-esteem, I think these gyms are missing the boat. Self-esteem is something that should hold, no matter what the circumstance. If it's the gym's goal to teach body acceptance and better self-confidence, it doesn't make sense to do it in an environment that's so limited. If that truly is the case, call the gym a support group instead. I'm just wondering what happens once the gym-goer reaches her weight goal. Is she then encouraged or, in the case of places where skinny people are banned, forced to leave? The whole thing is weird. On the other hand, I get that this isn't a conspiracy against thin people. I guess I don't like the idea of exclusion in general, so something like these gyms for bigger people might take some getting used to, even though they may have their place. Again, much of the sour taste in my mouth is the direct result of poorly written headlines. Instead of offering the truth, that these are "plus-size friendly" places, a big controversy has to be created implying that thin people are NOT ALLOWED! What next, skinny people will be banned from McDonalds, so large people can feel OK about eating a Bag Mac?
Before I go, I have to say that while I like the fact that we are getting some much needed moisture, this rain is a bit too dreary and cold for my taste. I don't mind a good storm at night, but I crave the sun during the day.
Posted by Lize Brittin at 9:55 AM